Standardisation of hardware and procedures is not new to industry in general or the aerospace industry in particular. Sir Joseph Whitworth was a contributor with his thread form, as far back as 1841 and it is still used by industry today. Indeed, one of the major peripheral influences when designing a new product, or engineering it for manufacture, is the need for a logical application of a standardisation policy. This ranges from procedures, practices, materials, methods, treatments and finishes, to the use of hardware. To a very great extent the commercial success of our products in aerospace is dependent upon a sound basis of engineering standardisation, developed over many years with painstaking care.
Most of us engaged in the engineering aspect of our industry have probably had something to do with formulating a standard practice or method, without necessarily recognising it as such. But it is sometimes astonishing how few appreciate the depth to which those concerned with the preparation of a definitive standard need to research, in order to establish the required level of excellence to meet the designers’ specification or production engineers’ planned method for manufacture.